Sustainable development strategies to transform the tomato and poultry sectors in Iraq [EN/AR] – Iraq

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Attachments

(Baghdad, July 7, 2022) HE Mohammed Kareem Al Khafaji, Minister of Agriculture, on behalf of the Iraqi government, officially launched the country’s poultry and tomato sustainable development strategies (2022-2026).

Consumer demand for Iraqi poultry and tomato products is on the rise, especially in the domestic market. Together, these value chains hold a projected import demand of over $1.7 billion combined by 2025. In addition, the two sectors offer significant potential for value chain development, value addition and marketing.

Improving Iraq’s competitiveness in these value chains contributes to the national development goals of food security, inclusive growth and job creation, especially for women and youth. According to the International Trade Center (ITC), agribusiness reforms could create more than 170,000 additional jobs under a moderate growth scenario by 2030.

Despite this considerable potential, the Iraqi poultry and tomato value chains face various obstacles. All key players in the value chains need to work together to address challenges, such as poor market connectivity and a difficult business environment, which limit the sector’s ability to compete with imported products, improve its supply and connect to buoyant markets.

To address these constraints and capture the growing potential of the domestic market, the Ministry of Agriculture has developed the Poultry and Tomato Sustainable Development Strategies to guide the efforts of government, private sector and development partners. and thus, improve the competitiveness of farmers and small businesses. and medium-sized enterprises in these two sectors.

The launch in Baghdad marks the official implementation phase of the strategies and the culmination of a participatory approach during which more than 400 Iraqi business leaders, small business owners, farmers and public sector representatives held consultations to reach consensus on sector competitiveness issues, strategic considerations and activities. These meetings were complemented by assessments of production sites and factory supply chains as well as bilateral interviews with industry experts and major market players. The strategies are also based on extensive research and survey work during which hundreds of farmers and SMEs were interviewed, as well as thousands of Iraqi consumers.

Quotation

“The strategies are aligned with government priorities. They complement the Ministry of Agriculture’s efforts to support poultry and tomato value chains, develop Iraqi agri-food industries and build food processing and marketing capacity in the country.

HE Mohammed Kareem Al Khafaji, Minister of Agriculture, Iraq

“The European Union is taking concrete steps to implement these strategies and advance the agricultural and agri-food sectors in Iraq for inclusive growth and job creation.”

Barbara Egger, Head of Cooperation, European Union Delegation

“ITC commends the leadership of the Iraqi government and the committed engagement of the private sector, farmer groups and development partners in designing these strategies. It is important to take concrete action now. ITC stands ready to continue supporting Iraq during the strategy implementation phase.

Eric Buchot, Country Program Manager, International Trade Center

Background

The implementation of several critical activities is already underway. The implementation of the strategies is a joint and coordinated effort between several international agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in line with the programmatic approach of the European Union and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework.

The strategies were developed as part of the International Trade Center project “Strengthening the Agriculture and Agrifood Value Chain and Improving Trade Policy in Iraq” (SAAVI). Funded by the European Union, the €22.5 million project aims to contribute to inclusive growth and job creation for Iraqi citizens, especially young people.

About the International Trade Center

The International Trade Center (ITC, www.intracen.org) is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN), entirely dedicated to supporting the development and internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). ITC’s mission is to foster inclusive and sustainable growth and development through trade and international business development. ITC is a resident agency of the United Nations in Iraq with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Media contacts

Delegation of the European Union to Iraq

Al-Sadiq Al-Adilee – Press and Information Officer

alsadiq.al-adilee@eeas.europa.eu

international trade center

Waqas Rafique, Public Information Officer

wrafique@intracen.org

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